Ovila Quad - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ovila QuadOvila Quad

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BA SCORE
88
very good

199 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 199
Hads: 724
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.18%
Wants: 31
Gots: 70 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mikechance on 10-29-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 199 | Hads: 724
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to FosterJM for sharing this one at MrHirschybar's place!

Pours a clear dark brown with a tan head that fades to wisps on film on the top of the beer. Small dots of lace stick to the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and some dark fruits. Taste is pretty much the same but it's a bit muddled. There is an alcohol burn with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good quad but it's slightly watery and muddled in my opinion. (525 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is dark reddish amber in color. It poured with a thin off white head that left lacing on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are sweet aromas in the nose along with notes of Belgian yeast.
T: The taste is quite malty with notes of sweetness, caramel and dark fruits.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer makes for a good sipper because the alcohol is well masked from the taste. (538 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Rick's in Alexandria. Served in a wine glass.

Pours a moderate brown color with a good light tan head. Nice lacing on the way down and a thin cap throughout. The nose carries some dark fruits and a bit of malt sweetness. Not too much there. The flavor carries Belgian yeast, but is a bit muted without much complexity. Medium body with a smooth finish. Pretty good, but not great. (393 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The bottle opens with a huge "pop" and pours a cola color with quite a head; the retention is decent and a few dots of lace linger in the chalice

Smell: Caramel, spicy Belgian yeast, raisin and date elements; perhaps a trace of cinnamon

Taste: Fruit forward, with raisin and date flavors presenting the dark fruits and pears adding a light fruit character; at mid-palate, the fruits are joined by spicy Belgian yeast elements; after the swallow, the caramel makes a brief appearance, with the finish comprising the fruity flavors found at the outset

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, with a creamy character; moderate carbonation

Overall: A pretty darn good stab at a Quad for an American brewery; not cloying and though it lacks some complexity, it is really rather nice (787 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is a huge beer. feel the burn! it pours a nice darker than brick red color, opaque and frothy. the nose is sweet malts, rotting wood, and alcohol. maybe some molasses in there as well. any subtleties are knocked over by the alcoholic nose. the flavor is really nice, complex and sweet. malt profile is caramel and cereal, yummy. there is a touch of interesting yeast about to make a statement, but then the alcohol comes in and wipes it out before it can get going. the finish is fire, maybe some time in the cellar would chill this out a bit. mouthfeel was a little heavy because of the sugar, and a little harsh because of the alcohol, but i like it still. this is a monster quad, even as quads go. id like to revisit it after some time, but this is a bottle to share by any standards. (792 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada's thrid installment of their Trappist-influenced ales reveal much the same as the previous two: A firm and well constructed ale that's slightly over malted and quite conservative and clean for the style.

Quad pours with a weighted appearance of brown, burgundy, and garnet and perhaps a mild haze. A dense froathy head caps the beer with lightly tanned foam, good retention for half the session, and mild lace.

Flavors and aromas of heavy and sweet malt reveal flavors of brown sugar, molasses, plumbs, grapes, walnut, and raison. Only moderate carbonation keeps the sugary weight sitting on the tongue and provides a near cola-like flavor. Lingering sweetness prevents the dry malt character that classic Belgian varieties provide. A mild spicy bite of black peppercorn and moderate alcohol head help to dry the finish, but only to a moderate degree.

Ovila Saison is a very clean Quad, but it certainly lacks the depth of flavor, texture, complexity, and dryness of even average authentic Belgian varieties. However, it seems on par with most American attempts to the style as they are very simplistic and mundane. (1,133 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was the one I anticipated the most out of the entire Ovila series. It met my expectations nicely I think. The beer poured out as a deep mahogany color that in low light almost looks black. The head is a very light tan color. The retention isn't too bad here, not much lacing though. The smell of the beer is sweet with some maple like aromas along with some dark sugary fruits. The taste of the beer is very nice also as it follows the same lines as the smell. The mouthfeel of this beer is very smooth with a nice medium body to it. Overall this beer was enjoyable in my opinion. I would drink it again in the future and I would choose it way before the the Saison and Dubbel from this series. (704 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice aan amber infused deep chesnut brown with a sticky light tannish colored head atop.a very complex and appetizing nose with dark candied fruit,toasty bread,deep brown sugar,and spiced phenols in the nose,very well rounded with not one element dominating.Flavors of candied dark fruit and yeasty spiced phenols dominate,it's not overly sweet as the alcohol is not overly big, and it has a nice bready malt base.A real nice quad wich is my favorite "Belgian" style,alot going on but in good balance. (518 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber in color with a khaki head. Smells of toffee and bread with a bit of brown sugar. A little bit of dark fruit and maybe even some yeast. Heavy on the dark fruit, brown sugar, and toffee flavors. There’s some bready malt and toasted malts. A bit of yeast and maybe some molasses. Medium body and carbonation. (325 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle - $9.49 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia. A pleasing package with a quality cork and cage yielding a good 'pop' upon opening.

Appearance: Pours a dark burgundy body with a medium-to-tall, off-white head, though it soon settles back down.

Smell: Finely spicy, sweet-scented, pungently fruity nose with malty touches of bread crust and semi-sweet chocolate. A delightfully harmonious mix of aromas present.

Taste: Deeply toasty, modestly chocolaty malts with a small inkling of roast enveloped by broad fruit flavors ranging from sweet cherries to prunes to figs back to ever-so-slightly tart cherries. Dark brown sugar stirred up with spices. Picks up a bit more sugared sweetness into the mid-point, also a hint of aniseed. The alcohol, while warming (and, thankfully, never hot), helps to dry things out approaching the malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-high carbonation keeping things moving well enough along the palate.

Overall: A fine big Belgian-style brew all around. I had the Stone 11.11.11., and there was a big, Belgian-esque beer I struggled through, comparatively, Ovila Quad was one that came together very nicely and, though big and bold itself, was a relatively ease to finish off. (1,253 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tried this on-tap at Max's. Served in a tasting glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany with a layer of fluffy off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Lots of banana up front with some sweet caramel malt showing up as well. The smell of this one reminds me a bit of bananas foster.

Taste: Follows closely from the smell. Sweet malt with some caramel, dark fruit, and banana. The alcohol in the finish is a bit hot.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side and a bit syrupy. There is a lot of carbonation and the finish is dry.

Overall: This was a good beer. The alcohol in the finish might calm down with some age. I definitely enjoyed the banana notes. (694 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 11/13/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, dark fruit, caramelized malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of dark fruit, brown sugar and chocolate. Then there is some breadiness that comes in from the Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a decent strong Belgian-style beer to drink for a while. (856 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly darker colored fizzy small head that fades semi quickly, no lacing, very dark mahogany cola colored with hints if ruby light barely sneaking through.

Nose brings plenty of phenols and esters, fruity plum skin, the esters and phenols from the yeast and some phenolic booze come out strong, some sweet candi sugar, earthy tannic molasses, caramelized biscuits, a hint if a cherry with the plum fruit.

Taste brings fruits, dark plum and again hint if cherry juice, plenty of esters again and phenolic booze, light chemically flavor from the phenols and plenty of warming tingly booze. Candi sugar and syrup, light toasted biscuit, caramelized brown sugar, chewy malt. Hint of chewy earthy hop but barely. tannic plum skin and little fig. Finish is still fairly sweet and sticky syrupy, lingering plum skin, chewy malt, phenolic booze, light chemical like and candi sugar.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, sticky syrupy, decent carb, plenty of warming tingly booze.

Overall not bad but def needs a couple years to mellow and for the phenolic chemical thing to drop out. (1,081 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a chance to try this on tap in NC back in December, but passed to drink some more Olde Hickory Event Horizon

Pours mahogany with a thin tan head. Faint head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit & woody notes

TL Follows the nose, much figgynes & dryness, a a bit of carob up front. Some oaky notes along with boozey plum once warm, along with jammy notes, just a touch of treacle as well. Finishes with dryness, slight leafy hops & plums & just a little too much dryness for me

MF: Medium bodied, slick with subtle carbonation, warming

Not a bad quad, this one could stand a year or two of aging. Just too dry for me right now (630 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

It's not often I get an urge to spend $15-20 on a bottle of Sierra, so I was glad to see this on tap so I could copt a sampling before it disappears. Poured a mahogany brown color with a small cap of off-white head that retained as a ringlet. Aroma of sweet malts, caramel, dried fruits. Taste of caramel malts, brown sugar, raisins, organic, with an apparent yeastiness, and an obvious hit of alcohol up front that mellowed out decently by mid-palate. Medium body, pretty smooth once you get past the initial alcohol bite. Not the best quad you'll ever have, but still pretty good overall. (628 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby brown hue with dark amber highlights when held toward the light, beautiful appearance. Light beige head forms silky and smooth above the dark nicely carbonated body fine bubbled, true Belgian style fermentation. Aroma has dark fruits with ripened tart apples, pretty solid nose, dark caramelized sugars are petty tasty. Flavor is sweet upfront sugar coated malt driven flavors with plums, tart apples, and a dry nutty Belgian yeast finish. Alcohol is apparent with the flavor and mouthfeel leaving a bit of warmth on the palate bewteen sips, fuller bodied Belgian ale with a healthy malt bill. Overall a decent quadrupel that will get better with age, keeps things more balanced than most quads out there but it also has a nice aging potential. (754 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12/17/11 notes. Had on tap at Rustico in Ballston, VA.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of cherries, oak, sherry, dark fruits, and bready malts. Lots of cherries, very nice.

t - Tastes of cherries, sweet dark fruits, oak, sherry, alcohol, bready malts, and toasted malts. Taste is quite sweet, and a little more alcohol comes out than in the nose. A tiny step down.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall this is a pretty nice quad. Loads of cherries and sweet dark fruits in the nose and taste. A beer I'd have again, and probably my favorite of the "Ovila" beers SN has done so far. (691 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into chalice, bottled 9/21/2011. Pours crystal clear extremely dark brown color with a nice 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Some nice soapy lacing clings to the glass, small amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, prune, molasses, pear, toast, candi sugar, pepper, clove, earth, and yeast spiciness. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of raisin, pear, molasses, caramel, apple, toast, chocolate, bread, toffee, candi sugar, earth, and light yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, pear, caramel, toast, molasses, chocolate, earth, toffee, and yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of flavors; mostly roasty and malty flavors with minimal spiciness; minimal cloying sweetness on the finish. Medium carbonation an fairly full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and thick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good quad. Nice balance and complexity of flavors; and quite smooth to sip on. I was hoping to be more impressed with this one; but it was still nicely enjoyable. (1,203 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a translucent dark brown/burgundy color with a thick frothy off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a rich caramel nose with hints of dark fruit and warm alcohol. It's dry with a touch of roasted character and wonderful fig aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth roasted malt and caramel flavor along with good deal of Belgian yeast fruitiness and a bit of alcohol warmth in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a tasty beer that's not overly complex, but drinks well; another solid offering from Sierra Nevada's newest collaboration. (648 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark, clear brown color with a large tan head. The aroma is full of dark fruit and candy sugar. I get a lot of prunes and dark cherries, as well as quite a bit of sweetness from the sugar. The flavor is similar. I get a lot of cherry, raisins, prunes and grape notes, as well as some toffee malt and a lot of candy sugar. There is also a Belgian yeast component in the flavor which goes well with the other flavors. The alcohol is noticeable and is warming. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A nice, easy to drink American-made quad. (557 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap, served in a tulip. This brew appears a very dark brown color with a thin off-white film for a head. When held to the light, it displays some clarity around the edges and some reddish brown through the body. A swirl revives a finger of tan head and produces some spots of lacing on the glass.

The smell of this brew is spicy with phenolic notes including some yeasty clove. Dark candy sugar almost like molasses is present. Some fruited quality like raisins and over-ripe plum. It is herbal smelling with hops and a touch of mineral character also comes through.

The taste includes a bit of almost herbal molasses character mixed with dark candy sugar sweetness. Belgian yeast character tasting of cloves produces quite a spicy flavoring. Even though the brew hits with an initial surge of sweetness, the spiced profile seemingly dries it out to the finish. Dark fruited quality is present tasting of plums and raisins mostly with some mild chocolate malt and more yeast character as it warns up.

This is a full bodied brew with a light amount of carbonation. It has a solid warming factor from the alcohol that seems a big exaggerated by the yeasty soices but it is not overdone. Overall a solid brew, if I would change anything about it, I'd almost rather have more depth of malty flavoring and a little less spicy yeast character. Regardless, this perks my interest in trying the Ovila Saison. Worth a try if you get a chance. (1,439 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled January 2012
A solid pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a 3-finger thick, nicely amber tinged, dark tan colored head. The beer is concentrated amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, deep, ruby-red hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of pears, prunes, raisins and dark, sweet, fruity brandy up front and it gets a touch more spicy towards the finish with more warming alcohol notes, touches of pepper and some definite clove aromatics. The rich fruit character is really what defines and dominates the nose here though. The malt character certainly contributes to the fruit aromatics, but it also provides softer notes of toasted malt / bread, hints of chocolate perhaps, a definite dark caramelized character and even a raisin like note that seems clearly malt

The beer has only a soft’ish carbonation (but this is after smelling it for almost 10 minutes), but this nicely balances the rich, but not overwhelming body. The beer is not as sweet tasting as the fruit-focused aroma might have suggested; instead of being sticky with malt sweetness it really accentuates a deep fruitiness that reminds me of pears prunes, dried figs, raisins and perhaps even a touch of dates. The finish has a warm, spicy, alcohol laden kick to it that isn’t quite hot, but is definitely on the warming side of things. There is a sort of bitter / astringent character from the dark malt and/or dark sugar character here in the flavor & this mixes in with the higher alcohols, clove like phenols, and general spiciness from the fermentation character. There is a solid bread-like character here that contributes lots of caramelized grain notes, toasted brown bread character, brown sugar coated crust, an almost nut-like character, and just that rich, almost sweet-dessert like character one gets from deeply caramelized, perhaps molasses laden, dark breads. This beer reminds me of port, and even brandy (though not nearly so hot as that) in many ways with its ample fruitiness; it isn’t nearly as sweet as port is though, and I like that this has only a supporting sweetness to it such that it never seems overly heavy or cloying. The body is actually fairly light for a beer of this strength, it certainly has a viscous quality to it as it slides across the tongue, but it is more drinkable than is absolutely safe for a beer of this strength. When cold, and more carbonated more of the dark, concentrated sugar / dark-candi sugar like notes start to come out; it almost has a dark rum / more molasses character here and even almost has that sweet, buttery note that molasses and candi sugar can have to it.

The pear note seems to be the dominant fruit note in this beer, but the dark color and richness throws your senses off from recognizing this fact. The supporting dark bread, and touch of spice character really plays a key, supporting role in this beer. This is a solid Quad, one that I am quite happy to be drinking; it even seems to have a touch more complexity than young Westvleteren 12 does, but time will tell if this ages nearly so well. (3,076 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at World of Beer at North Hills 11/18/11.

Served in a Ovila chalice. Pours a dark brownish amber with a thin lacing of head. The nose is faint malt, apples, and yeast. The taste is fruity up front with a red apple note followed by a nice maltyness and a yeasty finish. The beer is warm and has some faint alcohol esters. The mouthfeel is full bodied, warm, and well carbonated.

This is delicious. The flavor is well balanced and at 10.4% is scarily drinkable. I could have probably quaffed the entire chalice in just a few quick minutes. It took a good deal of constraint to sip it. (591 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a short 1/4" head that falls apart quickly.

Smell: loads of malt and fruit sweetness, and a hint of alcohol.

Taste: nice maltiness up front. Molasses, brown sugar, prunes, a hint of spiciness, yeast,and a decent bitterness round it out. Alcohol is mildly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Light crispness to start, smooth and velvety at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: a very enjoyable quad that has a nice depth of flavor. It was very easy to enjoy the large bottle in one session in a shorter than usual timeframe for the style. (594 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, opens with a big Champagne like pop,

A: Pours a dark brown with a medium off-white head, some spotty lace, not real sticky.

S: Raisins, dark fruit for sure. Malt heavy.

T: Rich dark malt flavour with that classic play of raisins, dates, mission fig especially, a medley of dried fruit.

M: Medium to full-bodied. Soft elegant carbonation which I love in American made Belgian-style beer. A tad cloying at the end which is rough, but a lot better than I get with a ton of American examples.

O: This is good stuff. A tad cloying as I said but I think that will go away with 2-3 years of aging. I've always love the soft mouthfeel, true Belgian feel of these Ovila beers. The Dubbel was the best of the 3, this may be the 'worst' of the 3, but it's still in the upper echelon of American quads easy. When I say the worst of the 3 it's in pretty good company. This is good beer, simple as that. I'd love to see where it goes. (940 characters)

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Ovila Quad from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 199 ratings.